The SuccessCare Program
The SuccessCare Program

Mom and dad won't talk
If I were having a conversation with the next generation member, a question I would want to ask is this: What did you and your parents agree to when you took the job?

Getting started with family governance
Family governance is a process or structure to educate and facilitate communication between family members.

15 lessons family councils wish they knew before they started
Whether you are just starting a Family Council or have had one for years, much can be gained by considering the lessons others have learned in making their Family Councils work.

Perception is reality and facts are negotiable

It was March 1994 and the Penmaen family were getting together for dinner. Sophie Penmaen had a secret. She had received some disturbing news from the doctor's office just yesterday and it was even more important to her now that she persuade Thom to retire from running the printing firm that he had founded and operated for over a quarter-century.

Sophie wanted Thom and herself to have some time to travel, and felt that Thom should devote more time to his love of writing, which had been buried for many years. Their eldest son, David, who had joined the business after graduating from university with a degree in commerce, could be promoted to CEO. David would be thrilled to know that his hard work and commitment to the family business was appreciated and Sophie knew that Thom sincerely hoped that one day, David's infant son Kyle would carry the flag.

Lisa, Thom and Sophie's daughter and the baby of the family, was doing a wonderful job in her role as Human Resources Manager for Penmaen Lithography. Sophie was confident that the business could continue to prosper with David and Lisa at the helm for Thom had trained them well.

As for Troy - their younger son - he seemed happy to do his own thing. Troy was currently doing some freelance photography work and spent a lot of his time overseas covering one major story or another. Troy had never shown any interest in being involved in the family business.

Tonight was to be a special celebratory dinner as Troy was home for one of his rare visits. Sophie was delighted to have all her children together again. It was hard not seeing Troy very often and she secretly planned to try and convince him yet again that it was time he settled down and joined the family business.

But Troy had other ideas. He had made this trip home for a reason. For quite a while now, Troy had been toying with the idea of accepting a job offer in Japan and had finally decided that this was the right thing for him. After all, Dad wouldn't even consider him for a management position in the printing business that was David's role by right! And there was no way Troy could even consider working under David - that was something he just couldn't swallow. David had always acted the superior - that was the main reason Troy had left in the first place! What Thom and Sophie didn't know was that David had, for some time, been trying to pluck up enough courage to tell his father that he was thinking of starting his own advertising and marketing company and would appreciate some financial help from Dad to get the business off the ground. David's wife Melanie was getting ready to return to work following her maternity leave and wanted David to look at relocating closer to her company's head office so that she wouldn't have such a long commute every day. Melanie wanted to have more time at the end of the day to spend with their young son. Lisa was looking forward to dinner. She had some great ideas for expanding the business that she wanted to discuss with Dad. She really loved her role in Penmaen Lithography. It was a pity that Dad didn't see how valuable her skills would be to the leadership of the company. Her heart belonged in this business but she had been dealt a double whammy. Not only was she the youngest in the family but she was also female and as such would have to prove herself over and over again before she could even broach the subject of taking a leadership role in the business. Even then, it would likely only happen if something awful happened to both David and Troy. Maybe it would be better if she just kept quiet and went to work with her fiancé Joel after their wedding next summer.

As the family sat down to dinner, Thom looked around happily. He was in his prime and looking forward to many years ahead. He had a wonderful family, the business was doing OK, and he had no financial pressures. Life was great!

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